European PMI Figures Show Weakness

Alan Penny

16 December 2019

2 min read

Euro flat

  • French Flash Services PMI stronger
  • French Flash Manufacturing PMI less than anticipated
  • German Flash Manufacturing PMI worse
  • German Flash Services PMI as anticipated
  • EU Flash came manufacturing PMI lower than anticipated
  • EU Flash Services PMI a bit better

On Monday morning we received several European economic figures in the form of PMI or Purchasing Managers Index data. While it was somewhat of a mixed bag, the overall tone was relatively soft and it shows that the European Union has a lot of work to do in order to move forward.

Ultimately, the market is likely to look at this as yet another reason to be concerned about the European Union

Ultimately, the market is likely to look at this as yet another reason to be concerned about the European Union. This is a downtrend in strength, but when looking at the various figures, there are a few bright spots.

The announcements

The announcements on Monday showed a mixed pattern of strength and weakness, but overall the European economic figures were pretty much a huge disappointment. The French Flash Services PMI figure came out at 52.4, and that was a bit better than the 52.1 number anticipated. However, the French Flash Manufacturing PMI number came out at 50.3 as opposed to 51.5 as the market was looking for.

The data shows that France itself is a bit “lumpy” when it comes to growth. Both of these numbers are positive as far as growth is concerned, but not necessarily overwhelming.

Even though French Flash Services PMI figures came out slightly better than anticipated, the previous month was revised down from 52.9 to the 52.2 reading released.

German Flash Manufacturing PMI came out at 43.4 instead of the anticipated 44.6 for the release. This is going to be more concerning than anything going on in France. That’s because Germany is the main engine of European growth. The German Flash Services PMI came out at 52, slightly lower than the 52.3 expected.

The European Union Flash Manufacturing PMI figure came out at 45.9, much lower than the 47.3 expected. The EU Flash Services PMI figures came out at 52.4, much better than 52. None of these numbers have exactly knocked it out of the park. As a result, there are still going to be a lot of concerns when it comes to the European markets, expressed not only in European stocks but in the weakness of the Euro itself.

A lack of structural strength

The main take away from these announcements is a simple continuation of what has been seen coming out of the European Union for some time now: a simple lack of structural strength. There are green shoots here and there, but the European Union is a difficult place to get excited about currently. With Brexit around the corner, there are certainly going to be major issues economically. The European Union is probably pretty far from becoming strong again, and as a result it should continue to have a black cloud over its head.

Written By
Alan Penny

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